Dear Government

By Davis Jones


Hello Government.

You probably don’t remember me. We met once. In October. I walked into my house and the TV was on, and the election results were flashing, and confetti was everywhere on the floor, and ‘Proud to be an American’ ran in loops from my iHome. You sat on my couch sipping Capri Suns with no straw. “I’m Government,” you said. “And you’re out of Capri Suns.” So I made a Costco trip. Too bad you wanted the brand name kind. Now I have a mountain of juice pouches squished in my fridge. I hope you’re happy.

You took my bed. I made some joke that if certain countries came over this could constitute as sleeping with the enemy, am I right? I crawled into my sleeping bag when you didn’t laugh.

I made you eggs and waffles in the morning. I discovered you only eat bacon. You sent me to Costco and I got 90 strips. Man you ate those fast. Then you gathered your hat and coat at the front door and said, “Wish me luck! I’m starting this term off on the right foot!” I was about to say good luck but I only got out “Go—” before you shut the door. Well. Anyway. You knew what I meant. When I saw no bacon left over my stomach growled on account of not eating and I swore my wallet growled because 90 bacon strips aren’t cheap, even from Costco.

You came home those first few months a little discouraged. Some progress, but not much. I told you to cheer up. Here’s my tax refund, I said. Go buy yourself something special. Then I looked on my bill and saw so many zeroes I concussed myself on the kitchen table by accident. You held your head in your hands. “You have no idea how hard it was for me,” you said. “It was traumatizing. You think I want to do this?” I saw your eyes glisten and I felt bad. I knew the feeling. “There, There,” I said. “Let’s get you the new iPhone. That’ll make you feel better.” “I already did,” you said. “I took it out of your retirement savings. I hope you don’t mind.” I tried to answer but you ran upstairs and played Call of Duty for 19 straight hours. When did I buy Call of Duty?

And here’s another question, Government: huh? You slam the front door a few days ago all flustered and say, “I’m shutting down?” What does that even mean? You’re not a robot, you doof.

I’m sorry. Let me backtrack. Wait. No. I’m not sorry, Government. Not one bit. Since when is it okay for anyone anywhere to “shut down” when stuff’s not working out? I thought you were on the upswing. You actually started cooperating with others. Now you lay on the couch all day watching NCIS with Doritos Taco crumbs stuck in your beard, and you negligently misfire your Capri Suns so that they stain all over my new carpet. Use a straw. It’s not real juice, FYI. Stick that in your diet pipe and smoke it.

What I’m saying is Get Back To Work. It’s pathetic. You think you’re the only one with problems? Watch the news. Read the newspaper. Europe’s tanking, too. Get over reading just articles with your picture in them and pitching the rest. Take a good look. People’s heads get lopped off for you. Overseas children have swollen bellies that are empty inside. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and consider that many, many people would die to live under the relatively civil rule you provide. Honor the trust by which your people voted you to do that job. Now do it.

And one more thing: quit with the guilt trip. Sure, I played a role in the chaos. We all did. But one role I don’t have time to stop and play is a victim, because frankly, my circumstances don’t give jack about stopping for me, thank you. I’ve got school to do, loans to pay, family to care for.

Don’t go JFK on me. This is different. I’ll ask what I can do for my country as soon as my country can hang in there for me.